Iron Man wannabe hacks Upwork

I wish I could remember the guy’s name.

I pull ideas and insights from anywhere and everywhere. I fancy myself a mere “observer” of the comings and goings of the interwebs — and using what I see to fuel new ideas and approaches for my (and your) online business.

Although, I readily admit I’ve probably watched one too many Marvel movies. 😀

In any case, this was a random blog post I happened upon, but the principle he was rappings upons has been maybe the biggest insight for me (and the clients I work with) as of late. It’s pretty simple, but its effect can be tremendous.

Higher conversion rates on lead magnets.

Sales pages that convert 20-30% better.

Emails with higher opens, clicks and sales.

And, in the particular case of Upwork… ranking higher in Upwork’s search and suggestion listing than you maybe deserve based solely on Rank. Funny thing is I (and probably you) first learned this principle in 1st grade math.

I just never applied it to marketing or profile-building until recently.

Anyway, enough teasing…

The concept is: Congruence.

Simple enough, but deceivingly effective.

In the case of Upwork, it’s about really focusing in on the match between what you write in your profile title, your overview, the items in your portfolio, your skill tags, job history — everything really. Because what most Upworkers do is the what I’d call the “shotgun” approach.

“Let me throw this keyword in my title…”

“Let me add this skill tag…”

“Let me mention all 17 things I can do in my overview…”

“Let me add everything I’ve ever done to my portfolio…”

The idea is… “Maybe I’ll show up for all these different search terms, I’ll get more exposure, clients will see I can do all these things and am generally an all-around dope person… and ultimately I’ll get more clients.” It’s throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Here’s the problem.

It’s as confusing as a toddler high on sugar.

A client looking at your profile won’t know what it is you actually do… because you mention so many different things. But, more importantly, you’ll spin Upwork’s algorithm in a circle, as well. And it’ll start showing you for all kinds of random projects.

Many that you’re grossly unqualified for.

And, as a result, clients won’t click to view your profile.

They won’t hire you.

You won’t get a good rating.

And, Upwork tracks all that. Not just ratings… clicks from search and suggestion, hire rate — every aspect of your profile’s performance. And the algorithm will essentially say “junk profile” and throw you in the garbage heap. And, these days, they seem to be booting people off the platform all together.

And, as simple as it might sound, congruence fixes all that.

It’s about being crystal clear to clients.

But also sending a crystal clear signal to Upwork’s algorithm.

So, your profile gets put in front of the exact right kind of clients. The kind who need exactly what you offer, will click on your profile, read every word, look at every portfolio item and be much more likely to hire you. Because you’re perfect for what they need.

This isn’t theory, btw.

This is what I’ve taught to all the Upworkers who leave reviews of my Upwork course saying they suddenly got a bunch of job invites and landed multiple projects… within days of changing their profile. THIS is the change they make.

So, look at your profile and see how you can make it more congruent.

Of course, I show you how in Episode 6 of my Let’s Talk Freelance course If you want an assist.

But, here’s another piece to this. One of the things I’ve noticed, having worked with thousands of Upworkers and reviewed hundreds of profiles is… a lot people don’t really consider their profile “card”. That’s the snippet that shows up in Upwork’s search and suggestion listing.

The thing that will get people to click.

Most think more about the profile as a whole and how it looks when fully opened. But, that card is a huge piece of the puzzle. It’s the *first* thing potential clients will see. So, getting it just right is critical. And the most important element of that card is your profile title.

It’s the one spot you have full control of.

You can say whatever you want there.

It’s sort of your “clarion call” to potential clients. It’s like the headline for your ad. And what you say there goes a long way toward getting a client to click… or not. Anyway, that’s another one of the things I teach you in Episode 6 of Let’s Talk Freelance.

The three elements of the perfect title.

And I don’t say that lightly.

This is based on hundreds of reviews and hours spent analyzing the top-performing profiles on the the platform. Here’s the caveat, though. You can’t always include all three elements. Sometimes you just won’t “have” what you need.

But, the more of them you CAN include, the better.

And, frankly, simply having *a* strategy (especially one based on actual research)…

Instead of just making something up at random or copying everybody else… that’s gonna lead to better results more often than not. In any case, all stuff for you to decide if it’s relevant to you. But because the course is up on Skillshare, you can get it essentially free.

That’s because, as a teacher there, I can get you an exclusive 1-month free trial of the site (the normal trial is just 7 days). With that, you get full access to every course on the platform.

Including mine.

And, if you cancel before the month is up, you never pay a penny. So, do what you will. I made a page explaining the course and the Skillshare deal here:

Once you’re in, you’re looking for Episode #6.



If you’re a patron of mine on Patreon, access info is on that page, as well.

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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